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Commission Supports Key Gathering

Media Release
28 August

Commission Supports Key Gathering

The Mental Health Commission will talk to a key gathering of the country’s psychologists in Christchurch tomorrow about a subject dear to their hearts.

The theme of the New Zealand Psychological Society’s annual conference is wellbeing: individual, organisational, community.

Mental Health Chair Commissioner Peter McGeorge says that theme of wellbeing has been at the forefront of the Commission’s work in the past year, and will drive its work in the years ahead.

“It’s really important for all of us in the mental health and addiction sector to have a shared understanding of what wellbeing means and what the sector needs to look like and how it needs to function to facilitate its occurrence,” he said.

“That’s why the Commission published a snapshot of what the sector might look like down the track if it consistently delivers the type of integrated, community-based services that people and communities want.”

That destination picture, Te Hononga 2015: Connecting for Greater Wellbeing, describes the types and levels of mental health and addiction services required to fully implement the Government’s national mental health strategy by 2015. The Commission considers that connectedness – whether it occurs between individuals, communities or services – is vital to achieving wellbeing.

“We want to get to a point where people experiencing mental illness or addiction are offered the help they need, in its many forms, and are able where possible to continue participating as valued members of society,” says Dr McGeorge.

“In that environment people will be able to live free of discrimination and their mental health experiences, whatever they are, will be considered just a normal part of life.

“Talking to psychologists, who are among those at the frontline of mental health in this country, is very important to the Commission as we want to make sure we’re all heading in the same direction.”

The Commission is the main sponsor of the three-day conference, which starts tomorrow (Friday 29 August) and ends on Sunday (31 August). More than 250 psychologists are expected to attend.

Dr Peter McGeorge, who has more than 30 years experience as a psychiatrist and manager of mental health services in New Zealand and Australia, will address the conference at 11.30am tomorrow (Friday 29 August). Other speakers will examine the concept of wellbeing from a range of perspectives.


Background about the Mental Health Commission:
The Mental Health Commission was established in 1998 as a crown entity providing independent advice to the Government following the Mason Inquiry into Mental Health Services.

The Commission’s functions as defined by the Mental Health Commission Amendment Act 2007 are to:

• advocate for the interests of people with mental illness and their families generally (rather than for individuals or groups), while taking into account the interests of other stakeholders;

• promote and facilitate collaboration and communication about mental health issues;

• work independently and with others to promote better understanding of mental illness by the community, reduce the stigma and prejudice associated with mental illness, and to eliminate inappropriate discrimination on the grounds of mental illness;

• monitor, and to report to and advise the Minister on the implementation of the national mental health strategy;

• stimulate and support the development of integrated and effective methods or systems of providing care;

• stimulate and to do research into any matter relevant to mental illness.

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